'Catastrophic loss': $150 million bilked from investors in Ponzi-like scheme, Alberta Securities Commission says

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Investors lost $150 million between them to a fraudulent investment scheme that lasted some 3½ years, an Alberta regulator said.

It’s alleged Craig Michael Thompson and two companies he controlled, Black Box Management Corp. and Invader Management Ltd., used money from about 1,000 investors between March 2020 and September 2023 to pay other investors instead of using the funds for investment purposes, the Alberta Securities Commission said in a statement issued Friday.

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“In the fall of 2023, Thompson advised investors that there had been a catastrophic loss,” the ASC said. “Based on the investigation, Thompson ran out of sufficient funds to sustain the Ponzi-like scheme.”

Most of the defrauded individuals gave money to Thompson to trade in securities while a smaller number provided funds for investment in a business involved in invoice factoring, the regulator said.

The allegations have not been tested by a formal hearing, which is scheduled in Calgary on May 21.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Texas State Securities Board and United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) aided in the investigation, the ASC said.

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